Brainstorming session: What are effective ways of promoting your app?


I have first hand experience with Facebooks ads. DO NOT TARGET EGYPT! In fact there is an article that has a blacklist of countries you should not be targeting. Lots of fake likes are generated from those countries and while the boost to your page likes might be nice, there will be zero return on investment. I’m not sure how many users from Nigeria that liked my page are real, but the stats don’t look so great. I would be very cautious if going through this route.


I did a lot of research on mobile app promotions in 2012. It was super intensive.
I even did a facebook and google advertising audit where I put up a youtube vid, made a facebook ad. I wanted to confirm that If I see 100clicks on facebook, then i should see a 100views on the youtube video. That was the audit part of my research.
And with having to pay as high as $0.5(N100) - $0.9(N180) per click on google search ad and facebook ad, I had to find a cheaper and more effective way. That was why I developed shareAd which we have just published at for other mobile app developers to build on.

Its basic. Every time people install your app, pull up their phone books and ask them to invite their friends.
If they oblige, you send a customized message with the app download link to their friends. You only pay the bulk sms cost which is NGN1.30 - NGN2.00

Being able to start promotions with $10, and being able to track everybody who is sharing the app and the recipients is great. I am still on the road for a better mobile app promotion infrastructures.
The SDK is available for android, blackberry, ios and windows, so you should try it.


$0.5(N100) - $0.9(N180) per click

No one should ever pay that amount on Facebook. You should rip them off not the other way around =)

What was your relevance score? If the ads are not relevant to the target audience, you will incur more money which is why I said promotion of mobile ads are better done with SEO and not ads.
I pay $0.01 per click for my ads though. I aim for a maximum of 6,000 audience. The lower the better :smile:
I think Shareapps has a very interesting proposition. Nice one


Okay your research on Mobile App seems resourceful. Still SEO will yield more.
I once did a practical comparison between Facebook and AdWords and the difference was clear.

Reading through our comments, I noticed we are all focused on promotion of mainly Mobile Apps. What’s up with Web Apps, Native Apps and an all-in-one app access?
Do we think an effective way of promoting a mobile app applies to the rest?


Exactly @MrASulaiman I also noticed most ideas are digital. Aren’t there more outside the box ideas? I read about how Marc Ecko got hugely popular when he was starting out. He made some very good, highly customised sweat tops for some MCs and DeeJays back in the day. These people were so impressed by his shirts that they announced, in the clubs and on the radio how much they loved his work and encouraged everyone to go check him out. The rest is history.
Aren’t there more novel ideas like this? I’m sure there more ways to draw attention to your apps/products beyond the regular social media/SEO.
What do you think?


These novel ideas are specific to the product you are marketing. Maybe if you state what the app is all about, we can come up with interesting ideas.


Here is my experience and how I got 8000 app download for my mobile app without paying a dime on advert, all from Google and still growing everyday (150 - 200 download per day from PlayStore)

Don’t just build an app, have a clear pre-launch strategy (at least 6 months). Before I launched my app, I started a mobile phone blog which up till now receives 6 -7 k visit per day via search traffic. At the end of each post, you will see a small banners that points to my app store - This is one kobo secret to attract traffic to your app page.

If you want to take advantage of my blog, you will find my no on the contact page.

The idea is to create a discussion community around your niche and drop your app link That’s all


The tendency to focus primarily on web promotions - isn’t a bad thing – but by forgetting to promote your app offline you can potentially miss out on a huge audience that may never know your app exists!

If your app is connected to a local community and you plan to make it a part of the neighborhood, host a local event and gather the local audience.
Yes, writing a blog post or setting up a promo add online is less stressful than organizing a live event, but events come in all shapes and at all prices. Find out where your local community meets the most and host the promo event there. I remember when Vir2o gave a pitch at Open City Africa in Port Harcourt.

If, for example, you decide to host an event at your local bar, announce the new app and add a little extra something – like a free drink for everyone who downloads the app at that event. This could be a cool trigger for your new users to talk about your app and share it with their friends!

Using the Press, T-Shirts and Fliers also work.


I have developed around 4 android apps that have crossed 300,000K downloads each in the Google Play with no cost in advertising. I focus on App store optimization (SEO). When I uploaded my first app, it was not getting enough download. I created backlinks to my app and I started implementing SEO by rewriting my app title, description several times until I hit the jackpot and the download started rushing.

My second to last app is Complete Biology which reached 100K downloads in four months without any form of promotion except pasting the information in Nairaland and few websites for free.

My suggestion will always be to target different keywords related to your app and find out which one rank better with maximum downloads.


They do have a high conversion rate but they are too expensive; Creating a App website SPA and promoting that would be more cost effective.


Promoting it how? It can’t be more cost effective. It cannot. Because you’re increasing steps to conversion by a LOT. Ad >Your website>download button> app store> app download. As opposed to just sending the user to the app store. You’ll see a very high bounce rate on your website’s landing page.

The only way a website is more cost efficient is if you’re acquiring traffic via Search Engine Optimisation.


Great work on your app. To get 100k downloads on an app in playstore is no child’s play. I am just curious, as an app upcoming app developer to know how much you generate from advertisement on your app.


Which is the all time fastest growing mobile app? WHATSAPP
How did the owners promote it? FAMILY/FRiENDS REFERRAL


@Jimi I recently used Facebook to promote an app, the conversion count displayed in the Ad manager was far lower than the actual result I got…this means FB can provide brand recognition but not guarantee the results. Now depending on the appeal of your app, the knock on effect can be very valuable as I have experienced.

I am happy to share the actual details with you privately, if you need it.


It depends on the type of app, user activity and user retention. I have two apps with 300K downloads but they earn different amounts because one has more user interaction than the other.

To your question, I have around 9 apps in Google Play including a new release this week.

In all I make more than 2000 dollars monthly.


@Inducesmile 4 of your apps are in the top 50 free education apps on Google Play right now. That’s phenomenal man, well done! It shows that App store optimization is extremely important as other have noted.

@IBKTheBot Add to that the Application install ads for Facebook and Twitter, make sure your app is well designed and polished, and I think you may have a recipe for success.


300,000 downloads - that is massive bro . Much more, i am impressed that your result, as you claimed, is with no advertising budget.
I double checked your website and was impressed that your claims are TRUE. :sunglasses:

While I am no App Store Optimization guru, this is my recommendation for others to get started


I have downloaded the e-book and will look at it in my spare time. Thanks


Create a useful app and people will use it.

Getting downloads on Play Store isn’t that hard. If your app category already has a user base, then getting downloads is easy. The problem most times is user retention.

For example, a lot of people are already downloading File Manager on Play Store. If you create your file manager and call it Apus File Manager, you will start getting downloads ranging from 500 - 1,000 per day in a few weeks. However, what will make the download count is how good your file manager is. You can have 100,000 downloads with only 20,000 current installations.

If your app is from a non-existent category, say your app introduces a new way to make use of an android device, then you have to promote the category itself and not exactly your app since people have to buy into the idea of wanting to do things the way your app is suggesting before deciding if they want to use your app for it.


I agree that user retention is a big pain. Churn rate for most apps are high; which is sad.

How do we probably turn that around?

  1. Have a good user onboarding plan. Remember when you downloaded a great app or even opened a new gmail account; how there was a brief “TOUR” of the service? It serves to show you the lay of the land and how to use the product. It is called user on-boarding. More good stuff about user onboarding here

  2. While you at this, it is good to note the POINT YOUR USERS ARE HOOKED to your app. For Twitter, it is when you follow at least 7 friends. So, a good point is to plan towards that and DESIGN micro-milestones around those happy moments. For example, if it is a game, make the first 3 stages simple to win before introducing the difficult ones (Good lessons from the addictive CandyCrush) Here is a good guide from Lincoln Murphy, he called it The Secret to Successful Customer Onboarding

  3. The other thing is how to get ongoing user engagement with your app. Nir Eyal is an expert at this. His blog and his book: Hooked, are go-to resources you show consider reading.

  4. You can read up other tips which I feel could be helpful to your app download and usage success